Conservative leader David Cameron yesterday offered his support to a campaign promoting the sale of local produce - and said he grew his own cucumbers.
Mr Cameron joined the Tory candidate for Chippenham, Wilfred Emmanuel Jones - known in the farming industry as the Black Farmer - to support Food Miles, a Farmers Weekly campaign.
The campaign calls for major retailers to do more to stock, promote and label locally-produced food, in a way that supports local producers and distances travelled to transport food to be cut.
Mr Cameron, who said he was doing his own bit to support the campaign by growing cucumbers at his home, said: "Local food is better. It has great health and environment benefits. It is also economically beneficial to support British farmers.
"The Government does not have all the answers - many of the answers are in our own hands.
"I will be encouraging the Prime Minister to have a proper labelling system."
Julian Gairdner, camp aign director, said: "There is a real opportunity for British retailers to help consumers make a positive step towards sustaining the environment and supporting the producers who farm it.
"Educating young people about the benefits of local food has been a key focus for the campaign.
"But so too has our petition to supermarkets which over 95 per cent of those registering with our campaign have supported.
"We believe there is a real opportunity for retailing innovation to benefit the environment and British producers which could include clear in-store promotion of local food, evidence of support for local producers, country-of-origin labelling of all foods, including distances travelled.
"Also even a food miles totaliser on all till receipts and innovation to reward customers for local supplier loyalty.
"These actions and others which supermarkets could offer would make a real difference to our environment and those who farm it."
Justin James, category m anager for meat at Sainsbury's said: "Sainsbury's point of view is that we are very much in support of local produce, which is safer, healthier and fresher produce." ..SUPL: